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Phil Mickelson had golf's rarest number in sight, flirting with a 59 before a missed 3-footer brought him down. He finished with a number that is becoming increasingly common in the birdiefest known as the Las Vegas Invitational.

Mickelson had seven consecutive birdies to shoot 28 on his front nine, but stumbled on his final nine to finish at 9-under 63 Thursday. It was one of four 63s posted in ideal conditions. Another five golfers shot 64.

Mickelson was three shots off the lead held by Duffy Waldorf, Billy Mayfair and Bill Glasson at 16-under -- with three full rounds still to play on desert courses that have so far offered little in defense to the assault on par.

"On this golf course, you can birdie every hole out there," Mickelson said. "It's just not much of a challenge for these guys."

Waldorf and Mayfair also shot 63s, while Glasson had a 65 to tie for the lead after two rounds of the 90-hole event.

Defending champion Tiger Woods shot 8-under 64 and could gain only one stroke on the leaders. Woods was four shots behind at 12-under 132.
BOXING: Willie Monroe vs. Antoine Byrd, super middleweights, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2.

GOLF: Las Vegas Invitational, third round, 3 p.m., ESPN.

HORSE RACING: American Championship Harness Series, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m., ESPN.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Olean at Springville, 7:30 p.m., 1330; Gowanda at Roy-Hart, 7:30 p.m., 1340.
AUTO RACING: NASCAR AC-Delco 200, 2 p.m., TNN.

BASEBALL: World Series, Game Six, Cleveland Indians at Florida Marlins, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 2.

CFL: Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 2 p.m., Ch. 5.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Indiana at Iowa, noon, MSG; RPI at Hartwick, noon, Empire; Pittsburgh at Rutgers, noon, Ch. 67; Michigan at Michigan State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN; Auburn at Arkansas, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 49; Wisconsin at Minnesota, 12:30 p.m., ESPN 2; Texas Christian at BYU, 2 p.m., Ch. 58; Guelph at Waterloo, 2 p.m., Ch. 11; Texas Christian at BYU, 2 p.m., Ch 58; Boston College at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 2; Tulane at Southern Mississippi, 3:30 p.m., FX; Northwestern at Ohio State, 3:30 p.m., Ch. 7; Virginia Tech at West Virginia, 3:30 p.m., Ch. 4; Ball State at Northern Illinois, 4 p.m., Empire; Howard at North Carolina A&T, 5 p.m., BET; Auburn at Arkansas, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Florida State at Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN; Nebraska at Kansas, 7 p.m., Empire; Air Force at San Jose State, 9 p.m., ESPN 2; Oregon at Southern California, 10:15 p.m., Empire.

GOLF: Las Vegas Invitational, fourth round, 5 p.m., ESPN.

NBA: New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs (preseason), 8:30 p.m., MSG.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5; Pittsburgh Penguins at Vancouver Canucks, 10:30 p.m., Ch. 5.

AUTO RACING: AC-Delco 200, 2 p.m., 1330.

BASEBALL: World Series, Game Six, Cleveland Indians at Florida Marlins, 8 p.m., 710, 1520.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Kean at Buffalo State, 1 p.m., 91.3; Hofstra at UB, 1:30 p.m., 1520.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Newfane at Starpoint, 2 p.m., 1340.

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